Last week Harvard historian Niall Ferguson got in some hot water by theorizing that John Maynard Keynes believed in deficit spending because he was gay and didn’t have to worry about passing along debt to the next generation because gay people don’t have kids. After getting his head handed to him by everyone who was paying attention, he apologized for being a jackass and said that he didn’t mean to impugn Keynes, gay people, or economic theory.
Now he’s whining about his hurt fee-fees.
What the self-appointed speech police of the blogosphere forget is that to err occasionally is an integral part of the learning process. And one of the things I learnt from my stupidity last week is that those who seek to demonize error, rather than forgive it, are among the most insidious enemies of academic freedom.
You really have to have a great big overblown ego to think that nasty comment threads directed at you on a bunch of blogs is an assault on academic freedom.